Related video: Grant Shapps says Williamson’s text messages to chief whip were ‘unacceptable’
Allegations of bullying against Sir Gavin Williamson continue to mount, with reports that he told a senior civil servant to “slit your throat” while he was serving as defence secretary.
Rishi Sunak is under increasing pressure over his decision to give his ally a seat in the cabinet after The Guardian reported fresh incendiary claims about his conduct.
A Ministry of Defence official told the outlet that Sir Gavin made the remarks in front of colleagues in a meeting, and on another occasion told them to “jump out of the window”.
Sir Gavin, who is now Mr Sunak’s Cabinet Office minister, said he “strongly” rejects the allegation and insisted he has “enjoyed good working relationships” with officials.
But the allegations, including that Sir Gavin “deliberately demeaned and intimidated” the civil servant on a regular basis, will only add to the calls from opposition parties for his sacking.
Earlier, the prime minister had expressed “full confidence” in his minister, despite describing expletive-laden messages he sent to former chief whip Wendy Morton as “not acceptable”.
Sunak considering raising state pension in line with inflation
Rishi Sunak is considering raising state pensions and benefits in line with inflation in a move that would likely usher in deeper public spending cuts elsewhere and higher tax rises.
The prime minister and chancellor Jeremy Hunt are considering imposing up to £60 billion in tax rises and spending cuts in the autumn budget on 17 November.
Treasury sources insisted no decisions have been taken, but did not deny a report in the Times stating they would avoid real-terms cuts on pensions and benefits.
Namita Singh8 November 2022 06:10
Who is Gavin Williamson? Government minister accused of bullying who was sacked twice
The behaviour of Sir Gavin Williamson is under the spotlight again amid claims he brought up a colleague’s private life during a conversation in an alleged bid to strong-arm her into voting with the government of the day.
It came just a day after a separate report emerged showing that Sir Gavin, knighted by ex-prime minister Boris Johnson earlier this year, sent expletive-laden texts to the Conservative Party former chief whip in a row over tickets to the late Queen’s funeral, sparking bullying claims.
Rishi Sunak appointed Sir Gavin to his government during last month’s reshuffle, raising the eyebrows of opposition MPs – as well as some of those on the government benches.
Namita Singh8 November 2022 05:55
Sunak expresses ‘full confidence’ in Williamson despite ‘unacceptable’ texts
Sir Gavin has voiced “regret” for the expletive-laden texts sent to Wendy Morton, complaining at his exclusion from the congregation for the funeral of the Queen.
But Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer today said he was “clearly not suitable” for his job in the Cabinet Office, calling his appointment a sign of how “weak” Mr Sunak is.
Our political editor Andrew Woodcock has more:
Namita Singh8 November 2022 05:40
Blow to vulnerable states as Rishi Sunak shuns calls for climate reparations
Rishi Sunak has dealt a blow to the developing countries hardest-hit by climate change by shunning appeals for the UK to contribute towards reparations for the natural disasters caused by hundreds of years of industrial pollution.
Thirty-year-old demands for a fund to pay for the permanent loss and damage caused by extreme weather were discussed for the first time on the floor of the Cop27 climate change conference in Egypt, with calls for the UK and other rich nations to join Belgium, Denmark and Scotland in committing cash.
But the prime minister made no reference to the topic in his five-minute speech in the resort city of Sharm el-Sheikh, instead recommitting to a 2020 pledge of £11.6bn for climate funding over five years and tripling to £1.5bn the UK’s contribution towards measures to boost resilience against future disasters.
Read the details in this joint detail from Saphora Smith and Andrew Woodcock:
You can also follow our live coverage of Cop27 in this live blog by my colleague Alisha Rahaman Sarkar:
Namita Singh8 November 2022 05:25
Insulating social housing would save tenants £700m a year
If England’s council and housing association homes were insulated and draft-proofed, energy bills would be cut by 42 per cent and residents would save £567 a year on average, it found.
The National Housing Federation (NHF) research said a major retrofit scheme to fix some of the country’s leakiest homes would benefit the environment and ease the cost of living crisis.
Namita Singh8 November 2022 05:10
Conservative Party accused of being in ‘denial’ about Islamophobia within its own ranks
The Conservative Party is facing renewed accusations it is failing to tackle Islamophobia – both in society and within its own ranks.
It comes as recent figures show anti-Muslim hate crimes are on the rise in the UK, and an investigation into alleged Islamophobia by a Tory MP continues.
Read the details in this exclusive from Matt Mathers:
Namita Singh8 November 2022 04:55
Labour attempt to force Sunak to reveal what he knew about Braverman
The prime minister is facing questions about his judgement after he put her in his cabinet just days after she was forced to resign for a breach of the ministerial code.
Since then she has admitted that she sent official government documents to her private email on six different occasions.
My colleague Kate Devlin reports:
Namita Singh8 November 2022 04:40
Gavin Williamson reportedly told civil servant ‘slit your throat’
Sir Gavin Williamson allegedly told a senior civil servant to “slit your throat” in what they claimed was a bullying campaign while he was defence secretary.
Read more about the allegations against Sir Gavin in this report:
Namita Singh8 November 2022 04:22
Welcome to The Independent’s UK politics blog for 8 November 2022, where we provide the latest updates from Westminster.
Namita Singh8 November 2022 04:11